PhD in nursing?
July 9, 2012 2:53 PM Subscribe
What do you do with a PhD in nursing? Is getting one a good idea?
posted by bookish to education (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am considering entering a nursing PhD program, and I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons. I'm interested in researching and developing solutions for complex health problems, particularly those affecting poor and otherwise underserved populations. I have an opportunity to pursue a PhD at a well-regarded nursing school, doing pretty much that.
However, I have a lot of hesitance about doing a PhD. The idea of a purely academic career doesn't do much for me. I'm interested in nursing in large part because it has a major element of practical, compassionate, patient interaction. I don't want to end up too isolated from that. And I'm not totally sure what I could do, other than try to become a nursing prof, with a nursing PhD.
I guess in my ideal future, I'm working with government or nongovernmental organizations to create and implement nursing programs designed to reach the poor, addicts and alcoholics, minorities and immigrants, etc. Is that something nursing PhDs do? What exactly do nursing PhDs do? What kind of jobs are out there, and what is the likelihood of me getting any of them? Keep in mind that I'm talking about a research-based PhD, not a clinical-based Doctor of Nursing Practice.
I've heard an awful lot lately about the impracticality of PhDs and the cadres of unemployed and overeducated, especially in the sciences. I don't want to end up there. Is it absurd to think about going in this direction when I could just be an RN and work in a hospital somewhere and make decent money? Or maybe that would be selling myself short?